crew immediately felt that it was the worst movie they’d
covered to date. I can’t say I blame them.
The narration (which disappears from the film for long
stretches at a time) that opens the film certainly raises
some red flags: “What you’re about to see may not
even be possible within the narrow limits of human
understanding.” Having seen the film, I gotta say that I
can’t argue that point.
A cop named Steve and a low-flying helicopter are
looking for a space capsule that’s landed in a field.
They eventually find the capsule, which is roughly the
|They're coming to take you out,
Monster A Go-Go.
the size of a small artificial Christmas tree and apparently made out of tin foil, but there’s no sign
of the astronaut. Oh, and the helicopter pilot is suddenly laid out, having been “mauled.”
At least, that’s what we’re told. If you’re going to watch Monster A Go-Go, then you’d better get
used having anything remotely exciting, interesting or important that happens described to you
rather than, you know, seeing it happen.
|One of the many riveting scenes from
Monster A Go-Go.
That’s assuming you can even understand what’s
being said. Here’s a tip for all you aspiring
filmmakers: A quick way to narrow the “limits of
human understanding” is to combine extensive
exposition with poor sound quality.
The incident brings together a bunch of scientists
and military types. They talk and talk and talk.
Sometimes they talk in a “lab,” sometimes at an
airport, and sometimes out in a field over a freshly
mauled body… which they leave behind at the end of the scene. Crime scene investigations have
apparently come a long way since the ‘60s.
Rather abruptly, we go to a swingin’ house party with a bunch of hip cats doing The Twist. This is
|Not this kind of House Party.
the “go-go” portion of our film, so better enjoy it! Also,
one poor actress doing The Twist neglected to wear
her standard issue torpedo-shaped bra that day -- by
far the best special effect of the film.
Anyway, everyone’s having a great except for one Frat
Guy Without a Cause -- he’s way too busy smoking and
being surly. He abruptly carts off one lovely lass
caveman-style and drives her out to lover’s lane.
Unfortunately, just like in today’s films, Teenage Sexy
Time = Death by Slaughter.
We get a quick glimpse of our Monster, and then… it’s
later, with all our characters chatting around the dead
body. Yay! They find the lovely lass semi-conscious in
the woods, and immediately decide to bring her back to
the lab (as opposed to, say, a hospital).
Hope you’re not too emotionally invested in the lovely lass’s sub-plot, cuz we never see her
again. In fact, a whole bunch of the characters rather suddenly disappear from the storyline. You
can go ahead and find out why here, but at the end of the day, I don’t care -- it makes an already
bad movie experience even worse.
One character that does begin to actually appear is the Monster. Like many other radiated
fellows of the time, the “Monster” is really just a guy Frankensteining around with oatmeal on his
face. At least they had the good sense to cast someone who looks like Lurch from “The Addams
Family,” making the Monster look like Lurch with oatmeal on his face.
|Like this, but more oatmeal-y.
I’m going to do my best to stitch together what
exactly happened to create the Monster. Don’t
think of this as a Spoiler. Think of it as a favor:
That missing astronaut was hit with a bunch of
radiation while out in space, but was also
injected with some kind of radiation treatment
before his mission. In addition, one of the
scientists gave him a double dose of some
other kind of (extra?) experimental radiation. So,
lots of radiation, hence the incredible height and
oatmeal face. We’re then told that one of the
scientists actually captured the Monster and
kept him in a storeroom for weeks, giving the
Monster injections of an antidote. But one day the scientist showed up a few minutes late for the
daily injection, which gave the Monster enough time to bust out of the storeroom and trash the
lab. Oh, and now the Monster pulsates radiation in a 25 foot radius.
Keep in mind, we never get to see any of that happen. The capture, the monster in a storeroom,
the monster’s escape… all done off-camera. Know what we do get to see? Talking. Talking
over paperwork, talking over dinner.
Oh, and this scene. See if you can guess where this fits into the plot: An attractive woman’s car
has broken down on the side of the road, and a truck driver pulls up to assist. Her tight sweater
and torpedo bra makes the trucker a bit nervous as he does his mechanic thing. Turns out she
just ran out of gas -- go ahead and insert your own “women drivers” gag here. Fortunately, the
guy has a can of gas on his front seat, so she’s back in business. She gives him a loooong
kiss as way of thanks.
And then… Nope, there’s no “and then.” That scene has literally nothing to do with anything else
in the film.
The military finally decides that a giant killer mutant pulsing lethal radiation just might be a
security hazard and comes to the conclusion that the Monster must be destroyed. The hunt is
on, and then… possibly the biggest cop-out of an ending I’ve ever seen. And ending so bad, the
|Still pissed after all these years.
“MST3K” gang boos the movie. I’m talking worse
than the much-despised “It was all just a dream”
ending. This ending knocked Monster A Go-Go from
“Awful” to “One of the worst films I’ve covered so far”
I can only hope that someone was punched in the
crotch for coming up with this ending. I’m not even
going to dignify it with my own write-up. I’ll let the
narrator tell you about it in the Spoiler Box below:
|"As if a switch had been turned, as if an eye had been blinked, as if some phantom force in the
universe had made a move eons beyond our comprehension, suddenly, there was no trail!
There was no giant, no monster, no thing called "Douglas" to be followed. There was nothing in
the tunnel but the puzzled men of courage, who suddenly found themselves alone with shadows
and darkness! With the telegram, one cloud lifts, and another descends. Astronaut Frank
Douglas, rescued, alive, well, and of normal size, some eight thousand miles away in a lifeboat,
with no memory of where he has been, or how he was separated from his capsule! Then who,
or what, has landed here? Is it here yet? Or has the cosmic switch been pulled? Case in point:
The line between science fiction and science fact is microscopically thin! You have witnessed
the line being shaved even thinner! But is the menace with us? Or is the monster gone?